Posts Tagged ‘cliché

12
Nov
10

Veterans Day

Members of the Westside High School marching band perform during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

The weather was perfect, the light was nice, and the long shadows created by buildings and trees made for some different and exciting photos of an otherwise, and this by no means I don’t like them, completely overshot event in the photojournalism world: parades.

At first glance, anyone with a visual tendency will recognize that parades offer a range of things to shoot, no matter what it’s about – Veterans Day, Christmas, Thanksgiving, St. Patrick’s, whatever.  People are dressed up, there’s usually floats, cars, happy onlookers, etc.  The list is pretty long.  Photojournalists take pictures of people doing things, and there is a lot of that going on at parades. 

So I guess that’s why parades remain probably the single most covered (in terms of photography) community events in the U.S.  And as a result, original images are very hard to come by.  Ask any photographer and he or she can give you a list of parade pictures they’ve shot or seen shot: candy throwing, Shriners doing donuts in go-karts, troops marching, bands playing, onlookers waving, parade walkers waving,  drunk Irishmen waving, floats with people waving and in the case of Christmas, Santa waving.  Done and done.  Such is a pj’s life.

So, I went into yesterday’s Veterans Day parade expecting to find cliches and a mission to avoid them as much as possible.  Luckily, the weather cooperated and the low humidity provided crisp sunlight and very blue skies – two factors that truly improve photos.  This simultaneously energized me to find some new angles or moments, and made those cliche shots bearable to shoot, knowing they were at least well lit and purdy-like.

So there you have it.  Another Veterans Day parade in the books.

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com

Children from Curtis Baptist daycare wave small American flags during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

 

Members of the military march during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

Patricia Haley holds a photograph of her father, who was a World War II veteran, during the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

Students from Curtis Baptist Elementary watch the Veterans Day parade, Thursday, November 11, 2010, in Augusta, Ga.

19
May
10

pond jump

OK fine, it was bound to happen.  But I’m proud of myself for holding out for so long.  The cliche to end all cliches in community photojournalism…the first cute kid photo has made it to my blog. 

But can you blame me?  It’s the fastest most effective way to get a picture with a reaction or a funny face, probably because kids are so unadulterated.  But that’s only part of it.  The real reason I like kid assignments is the high cost/benefit ratio.  The harder I work a situation with kids in it, the more likely I will get something good.  It’s super rewarding.  The longer I hang around, the faster the kids will totally forget I’m there and just act natural.  Adults don’t do that.  By contrast, I can show up to an adult meeting, or event, and hang out for hours and never get anything worth while.  It’s not that I didn’t try, but the assignment was doomed from the start.

Nathan Stewart, 5, makes a face as he looks for insects during Pond Jump, a learning activity for children including dipping nets in a pond to find frogs, tadpoles and insects at Reed Creek Wetlands Interpretive Park, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, in Martinez, Ga. RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

Daniel Huntsman, 5, uses his muddy strainer to look for tadpoles during Pond Jump, a learning activity for children including dipping nets in a pond to find frogs, small fish and insects at Reed Creek Wetlands Interpretive Park, Tuesday, May 18, 2010, in Martinez, Ga. RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

The mud and water in this boy’s boots  made a squishing sound everytime he came running to his mom or dad to show off a crawfish or tadpole.  How is that not cute?

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com

And that’s my five minutes of uncynical-ness for the day.

06
May
10

National Day of Prayer

I’ll be the first to admit I’m a sucker for silhouettes.  Some would argue it’s cliché, or it’s just something photographers use from their “bag of tricks.” But what a tool it can be.

When it’s used correctly and in the right setting, it can be so effective in conveying a situation.  It also makes the image instantly readable without the “clutter” of having faces, or things to draw the viewer’s eyes away from the moment.  Plus, it’s striking. More impactful.  I don’t know. It’s one of those aesthetic things.  Soft early morning light never hurts either.

Members of the military and civilans bow their heads in prayer this morning during the Fort Gordon National Day of Prayer Observance Ceremony, Thursday, May 6, 2010, in Augusta, Ga. RAINIER EHRHARDT/STAFF

Before the ceremony, I saw the flags and the soldiers congregating nearby.  A bit of previsualization and it turned out pretty nicely.

For astute readers of this blog, you’ll notice this is reminiscent of the JROTC photo I posted in April here.  Is it just the nature of those two assignments, or am I already a broken record? Oops, I’ll get on that.

For more photos of my two assignments for National Day of Prayer, see the slideshow on the Augusta Chronicle’s website.

-RAE

www.rainier-ehrhardt.com